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On a "bare" OS X 10.8 install, what is the easiest way to grab a largish torrent from the command line (MacTeX, 2.3 GB)? I can't use GUI-only clients, it's a headless system. If no such client is preinstalled, which one would be easiest to install and get running?

EDIT: To be more specific, I'm looking for a command similar to wget or curl that would get a torrent and serve only this torrent while running, then exiting when the download is complete.

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curl -O would work as well – patrix Nov 3 '13 at 17:21
@patrix: Too slow. – krlmlr Nov 3 '13 at 17:22
Based on your edit, added info about aria2 which offers simple .torrent or magnet downloads: aria2c – grgarside Nov 3 '13 at 17:50
@grgarside: Thank you. Looks like the best option for me, too -- I can even install from homebrew. Let's see... – krlmlr Nov 3 '13 at 18:12
up vote 13 down vote accepted

No, not pre-installed as far as I know.

Try Deluge.

It has been designed using the client server model with a daemon process that handles all the bittorrent activity. The Deluge daemon is able to run on headless machines with the user-interfaces being able to connect remotely from any platform.

Source: About Deluge

Alternatively, try rTorrent, aria2, or TorrentFlux.

For simple downloading of .torrent or magnet torrents, aria2 might be your best option.

Setting up aria2:

  1. Install aria2 per the official install instructions.

  2. aria2 can accept .torrent links and magnet links:

    aria2c 'magnet:?xt=urn:btih:248D0A1CD08284299DE78D5C1ED359BB46717D8C'

Setting up Deluge console access:

  1. Install Deluge per the official install instructions.

  2. Run the daemon and the console process, then connect locally.

  3. Add a torrent per this syntax:

    add [-p <save-location>] <torrent-file> [<torrent-file> ...]
  4. Use --help flag for more help on commands.

Setting up Deluge remote access:

  1. Install Deluge per the official install instructions.

  2. Create the configuration files by starting/stopping the daemon:

    pill deluged
  3. Add authentication with the syntax <username>:<password>:<level>:

    echo "alice:MyC0mpL3xPass:10" >> ~/.config/deluge/auth

    About authentication levels

  4. Allow connections beyond localhost.

    deluge-console "config -s allow_remote True"
    deluge-console "config allow_remote"
  5. Start the daemon.


Setting up rTorrent:

  1. Install rTorrent per the official download & install instructions.

  2. Run rtorrent to begin the interactive access.

    Use -h flag for more info on using rTorrent.

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Could you please give a usage example on how to install these and start downloading a given torrent, from the command line? – krlmlr Nov 3 '13 at 17:23
@krlmlr Added some info :) – grgarside Nov 3 '13 at 17:42

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